The Night The Lights Went Out
May 16, 2019 9:41 AM   Subscribe

In a longform piece, Deadspin and GQ writer (and Chopped champion) Drew Magary discusses the brain bleed that almost killed him, his road to recovery, the impact of his injury on his family, friends, and coworkers, and his dealing with the effects of it all several months later. (SLDeadspin)
posted by NoxAeternum (22 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
posted by e1c at 10:05 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]

the whole peeing unsupervised thing became my most cherished dream at nyu medical. the beds are pressure alarmed so that the moment your body weight leaves the sensors, the bed SCREAMS like a toddler being sawed in half, and everyone comes running in to yell at you.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 AM on May 16 [7 favorites]

anyway i support him not being dead. brains are terrifying, the human body is a baffling headcheese of horrors held together by ??? hope? tiny elves? no one knows.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:10 AM on May 16 [41 favorites]

I told you that I collapsed in the summary up above, but I can’t tell you why, nor can any eyewitness (colleague Jorge Corona only noticed my collapse out of the corner of his eye), nor can any of the doctors who have treated me. They couldn’t even ascertain whether or not my hemorrhage caused my collapse or vice versa.
I spend a lot of time wondering why our delicate bodies -- cobbled together by billions of years of evolution because well, one change didn't kill us so okay, let's keep doing that -- don't just... stop more often. Like, it sort of shouldn't be odd that Magary's brain seems to have shut down for a second for no apparent reason.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]

But I do know that I’m different. Still me, but not quite. All the pieces of me aren’t all lined up exactly as they were, and I haven’t fully accepted this yet. I liked who I was before all this. I’m not sure about this new fella. . . . If you saw me now, you wouldn’t know that anything had happened to me. But I know.

This really captures what it’s like to be battered by life unexpectedly. Well put.
posted by sallybrown at 10:25 AM on May 16 [29 favorites]

Fascinating piece of writing. Lots of great stuff with sudden sentences that made me back up and go Huh? Prime example: "One time I got up to take a piss in the middle of the night and I was a step away from the bed when a caring attendant suddenly materialized an inch away from my face. I nearly jumped through the ceiling. The great softening of the American male continues unabated." [Emphasis mine]

I'm glad I read it. Some of what he's dealing with sort of reminds me of some of the PTSD stuff I'm dealing with. Like, the whole walking thing. I've been going through a thing where I'm unsteady on my feet, and it's really peculiar to have to think and plot out how walking works after 5 decades of doing it entirely without thinking about it ever.

I wish him a continued recovery. Thanks for posting this!
posted by hippybear at 10:34 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]

Drew Magary is one of those writers where I'll read anything they write, even if the topic doesn't inherently interest me at all. I was following his then-mysterious medical leave and recovery on Twitter and Deadspin, and was very happy when he started writing/posting again. He seems like an all-around decent guy and I wish him all the best.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:39 AM on May 16 [20 favorites]

Just one of the many types of sudden death things that scare the shit out of me. Great read tho.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:54 AM on May 16

My god, that was terrifying and occasionally hilarious. I’m glad he is recovering because whooooooo boy that’s a shock to every system you (and your family, friends, coworkers etc) have.
posted by 41swans at 10:54 AM on May 16

I adore Drew Magary and I am so grateful he survived. Fuck!
posted by Sophie1 at 10:57 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]

"...implanted a small galaxy in my brain to make sure my opinions remain suitably vast,...". I love Drew.
posted by queensissy at 11:51 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]

Came to post this. I was embarrassingly beside myself when the large man went down, and really had nobody to talk to about it.

Very happy that he seems to be doing well; he certainly seems unbowed on the deadspin podcast. If you haven't listened to it but have read his more thoughtful writing, I'd recommend at least a few minutes listening to it, for the mind bender of squaring whatever thoughtful voice you previously had in your head with the amazing doofy accent the man actually has.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:28 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]

I am currently in the middle of reading his book . And this morning I went to a new doctor who told me my mom's death from a brain bleed meant we should probably scan my brain for issues.

So this is certainly relevant to my interests!

posted by vespabelle at 1:09 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

hence my character would be a new addition to the bad guy squad, but ALSO a Hogwarts train proctor. Larry King says Suicide Squad 2: Why So Sirius? will be the nonstop thrill ride of the summer!

Not gonna lie, I would watch this movie.

Amazing story
posted by nubs at 2:17 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]

I like how the ride that is full of thrills is obviously on a train!
posted by hippybear at 2:39 PM on May 16

I also highly recommend this article by Drew. It's his first real discussion of what happened and I thought it might be all he said about the matter.

Drew is a wonderful author and, by all accounts seems to be a really amazing person. I am glad he is still here.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:52 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]

I’ve been reading Deadspin long enough that I remember Magary making the jump from incessant commenter to columnist, and I’ve been reading him since. You could see how much he means to people in the comments between his sudden silence and his first column back. People were genuinely worried about him, and out of all the shitty things Deadspin has done, I was honestly impressed by how they handled everything, letting Magary tell the story on his own time.

That, and he’s 42. So am I. In the last two years I’ve become pretty much downright terrified of something like that happening to me. As he says, in the coma, there was nothing. No awareness. Just done, and that scares the shit out of me, just the thought that I could just cease to exist without even realizing it was happening.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:43 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]

I got a concussion in a car wreck when I was 18. The routine CT scan discovered an AVM in my left brain hemisphere. The doc told me there's a 2% chance of a brain bleed each year. I remember thinking and still think, how accurate is that percentage really? That was 25 years ago.
posted by LoveHam at 4:10 AM on May 17

I suffered a spontaneous subdural hemorrhage about 7 years ago, though not nearly so bad as what this guy went through--I'm only missing about three days right after it happened. I was in the hospital for 9 days total, out of work for a month after that, and working part-time for a month after that. I apparently had an unusually fast and complete recovery for this kind of thing. I had headaches and needed to sleep a lot for a while after, and would start seeing double pretty quickly when I tried to do anything that taxed my eyes like driving, being in a crowd, or seeing a theater movie (though it was really the vision-processing part of my brain that was getting tired, not my eyes). But those went away after a while, and nowadays you can't tell it ever happened.

The most tragic part of the story is that the sex I was having when it happened wasn't really all that great. Sex that puts me in the hospital for a week and out of work for a month should either be the most amazingly fabulous sex ever, or we should have been attempting something completely depraved and perverted. It was neither of those.
posted by octothorp at 12:58 PM on May 17 [5 favorites]

I've been reading a ton of Magary in the last year - his work became part of my weekly reading-to-cope schedule, as in the stuff I relied on to keep my brain from going in to too bleak places. The Fall really threw me, and I'm grateful he's up again and choosing to share with us.

I also love the commentator who posted this Very Good Kinja.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:52 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]

ominous_paws: "for the mind bender of squaring whatever thoughtful voice you previously had in your head with the amazing doofy accent the man actually has."

Check out the episode of Chopped he was on. It's something, all right.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:02 PM on May 21 [4 favorites]

Check out the episode of Chopped he was on. It's something, all right.

I still remember the Deadspin staff giving his win the respect it deserved the day after it aired.

That is, they made sure to thoroughly (and lovingly) rake him over the coals for it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:04 PM on May 21

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